Date: Thu, 17 Sep 2009
Dear Dr. Lehenbauer,
Greetings to you on this beautiful Colorado Fall day! I hope it’s as delightful in St. Louis.
Marie Meyer requested your permission to share the paper entitled ‘Creator’s Tapestry’ with the women that met with President Kieschnick, four of the Vice Presidents and Dr. Sam Nafzger in August 2005. Obviously we were all very interested in the work done by the consultation, its process as well the comprehensive Bible study that was done to fulfill Resolution 3-10, and the resulting paper.
Upon receiving the paper, I was deeply disappointed in the foundation of the paper, the lack of a comprehensive Bible study and most of all that our specific request for a new academic study to be completed to fulfill Res 3-10 was not honored. I had hoped the paper would not be a re-hash of previous studies and quotes from previous CTCR papers but rather would reflect how the consultation group worked with the variety of understandings of the relationship between God and the men and women that God created and they would be included in the paper.
I was stunned that the ‘order of creation’ teaching was used as the foundation of the paper especially since that idea has been greatly disputed for years by many LCMS folks. I was perplexed that so much ink was used to talk to the marriage relationship of men and women rather than their personal and spiritual relationship with God and how that is then played into human relationships. I was surprised to see that the writing on ‘headship’ and ‘submission’ did not take into consideration any other understandings than those previously quoted in CTCR papers. I was deeply saddened, as a 25 year Lutheran high school theology teacher, to see how the paper presented that women cannot, for Biblical reasons, teach theology.
Dr. Lehenbauer, I hope that this paper will not be published. I hope that a comprehensive Bible study will be made of the threads and themes of the Biblical text to get a deeper understanding of God’s relationship with women and men. I hope a comprehensive study of Jesus’ relationship with men and women would be at the heart of the paper rather than the order of creation. I hope this paper is not published and then have to be discussed but instead that a comprehensive study would be completed, with a variety of voices represented, so the people of the LCMS can truly study the Biblical understandings of the relationship between women and men and all that means to the service of the church.
I would be very willing to help in any capacity and look forward to hearing from you.
God’s richest blessings in your ministry and life.
Sincerely, Lois Voeltz